Brian’s Links 26 Sept 2011: Life, Death, Reproduction, and Brains

Utterly amazing video clip about living bridges made from the roots of strangler figs in India’s Meghalaya region.

Ohio State helps out the Little Sisters of the Poor (after belittling their football-playing powers).

Rod Dreher is against the death penalty and he thinks other conservatives should be too. Why? Because conservatives are supposed to find government to be incompetent. Allowing capital punishment gives an incompetent body the power to make the ultimate decision: to kill.

George Monbiot calls out the academic publishing racket.

Aristotelian biology gets some respect. Yes, those flies functionally only have four legs…

The teleology of project Nim Chimpsky: no, that’s not what that’s for! Not for chimps to use cats that way, nor for humans to use chimps that way.

Organophosphate pesticides in food linked to ADHD in kids. Bad stuff, just confirms my Toxins Everywhere thesis: we need to get to work.

There are always plenty of sperm to go around… or… what could possibly go wrong when you discover (or do not) that you have 150 half-siblings…

On religion being “behind the times.” (Because democracy is so 5th century BC…)

US healthcare to target Down syndrome for elimination?

Brian Greene (the physicist, not me) says there is no afterlife. Considering he’s always talking about invisible dimensions to which we have no sensory access, I find that to be an interesting assertion.

Always feed your pets, or they might eat you.

Human brains have been decreasing in size for millennia.  Why? Well, we’ve domesticated ourselves, and domesticated animals don’t need big brains.

Moose (“elk” in Europe) gets drunk on apples and gets stuck in a tree. Silly moose.

Lastly a video on incredible differences in color perception across culture. Fascinating implication for culture-related brain plasticity of perception, and – perhaps – moral perception too.

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